Like most of us I’m spending a lot of time looking at the same four walls at the moment; a grim sense of groundhog day on one hand, but on the other hand immensely grateful that I’m in the enormously lucky position of getting to stay safe at home, and also incredibly thankful for the books that surround me and that are going some way to keeping me sane. I don’t do reading or blogging resolutions for the new year, other than read what I want, when I want and write about it when the mood takes me. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t even a little bit pleased with the bookish start I’ve made to 2021 so far!
- Where Three Roads Meet by Salley Vickers – a book I picked up in a charity shop ages ago, this is one of the Canongate myths series, and is a highly imaginative take on the Oedipus story. A dying Freud receives a mysterious, otherworldly visitor, who it transpires played a key role in Oedipus’s sorry tale, and who shines a new light on the psychology of a story that we – and Freud – thought we knew so well. There have been loads of ancient myth retellings recently, and if you’re a fan of the genre this gives it a fascinating spin.
- The Hand of Justice by Susanna Gregory – when things are getting me down I always reach for a Susanna Gregory book; easy, escapist reading that takes you to a safe place many centuries ago and a world away from everything that’s going on right now.
- Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer – this is the conclusion to the Southern Reach trilogy, which I started just before Christmas, and I can honestly say I haven’t been this haunted by a story for a very long time. There was something about the psychological ideas at play here that really got under my skin and disturbed me; notions about what it means to lose your identity, to face a long and drawn out contemplation of your own death….. it’s chilling stuff. But SOOO amazing to read, and I highly recommend.
It wouldn’t be lockdown without a Waterstones parcel arriving on the doorstep, and these are the first arrivals of 2021:
I’m really looking forward to all of these, particularly The Foundling as I’ve been meaning to try a Stacey Halls novel for ever. Leonard and Hungry Paul seems to be the book of 2020 that I somehow completely missed, and from what I hear it’s a really uplifting read, which is just what’s needed right now. But first, I need to finish my current pile:
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau – this was one I read at uni but raced through before I’d really had a chance to appreciate it, so I’m revisiting it now when I can really take my time with it.
- Little by Edward Carey – a friend recommended this novel to me a while back but it’s only just made its way on to my currently reading pile, and I’m sorry I waited so long because I’m absolutely loving it!
Having been away from the blog for a little while, I haven’t quite got back into the swing of writing regular reviews yet, but I hope to have some up here for you before too long. In the meantime, happy new year and happy reading!